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  1. #1
    Hybrid Leftys aren't real Moderator
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    Odd question....

    Hey AK folks, so this is an odd one, but I'm hopeful someone can help.

    We're going on a cruise this year for my parents 50th. I am NOT a cruise person, but thankfully, being an AK cruise, we'll be close to land, and will stop in multiple ports along the way. Skagway, Juneau, Sitka, Haines, and a few others. All Interior Passage stuff (I think it's called?)

    So my question is two fold, and I'll get all my ducks in a row city wise, as far as exactly which ones.

    First, most days on land are ours, we can either take a cruise sponsored trip (friggin pricey!!) or do our own thing. That, and I need to save for the helicopter trip around Denali, HELL YEAH! My wife and son are avid MTBers as well, so hooking up with some actual bikes at hitting some local trails would be sweet. Any shops to hit? We just want to be as efficient as possible, as time is tight. And, we wouldn't have a car, so something two hours in land isn't a great idea.

    Second, (and weirder) I need to see big trees. I'm a life long east coaster, and while I'm sure there's going to be plenty of decently girthy buggers to hug, I'd love an inside line on an area I could get to, that would have some monsters. I don't travel a lot, so this may be one of very few chances to see them, and I've spent a lot of time bushwhacking around our local old growth spots trying to catch a glimpse, and believe me, they are few and far between out here.

    TIA, and I'll get an itinerary if it isn't already well known to y'all what the common stopping points are.....
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



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  2. #2
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    You will find the big trees throughout the southeast (they get smaller as you go north). Many trails around Juneau have some big ones. Herbert Glacier trail in Juneau has some monsters (spruce, hemlock, cottonwood) if you can get there. You should be able to find some big Sitka Spruce in Sitka too.

    There is a bike rental place in downtown Anchorage and you could access some trails in little time but I don't know what they are renting.

  3. #3
    Hybrid Leftys aren't real Moderator
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    Cool, thanks for the info. Sadly, we won't get as far north as Anchorage.

    I must confess to being utterly clueless about the scene in these towns. Do folks ride, or is it not part of the culture as much?

    I know there is riding up there, but don't proclaim to know where, what, how much, who etc.

    It'd just be nice for us to rent some bikes, and hit some dirt in a new place with my wife and son. Shuffleboard, steam table food, and the Norwalk virus are not exciting, so it's good that the views will be stellar

    So big trees just pop up all over up there? I have images in my head of most stuff near population centers having been logged out, with subsequent regrowth happening in the last 50 or 75 years. Then pockets of old growth which are harder to access, or, parks that have been protected.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  4. #4
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    Cycle Alaska rents bikes in Juneau.

    Sockeye Cycle has bikes available in Skagway and Haines.

    Yellow Jersey rents bikes in Sitka.

    As for your other ports I can't tell you what you need because I don't know what they are. There are many cruise lines operating in this state, all with varying agendas.

    I would suggest calling ahead and reserving the dates you need.

  5. #5
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    two words...

    ...folding bikes
    If Huffy made an airplane, would you fly in it?

  6. #6
    @adelorenzo
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    Not a lot of riding options in Skagway and Haines, although there are a few trails. It's pretty much going to be hiking trails or dirt roads as your options.

    People do go up into the Dewey Lakes area, it's pretty steep going up -- most likely a hike-a-bike -- but fun once you get up there. There is also AB mountain and apparently some riding out by Dyea, but I've never been out there. I'm sure the local shop would have some advice. http://www.skagway.com/skagwaytrailmap.html

    I have ridden/carried my bike up on the Mt. Riley trails in Haines, definitely see some big trees up there. A few other places I have ridden but there but nothing I would call good mountain biking.

    Sockeye rents bikes but, AFAIK, it would be basic hardtails with rim brakes.

    Climbing the road up to the White Pass summit and riding down is pretty awesome.

    That being said, depending on how long you are docked in port, a trip to Carcross, Yukon would be worth it. The riding out there is world class. It would be about 1.5 hours by vehicle to get there from Skagway.

    If that interests you, my friends Marsha and Sylvain at Boreale Mountain Biking in Whitehorse would be your best bet. They could outfit you with full suspension bikes and guide you on the mountain. The trails are normally done by shuttling so in a full day out there you could get 4-5 runs in. Check out: http://borealebiking.ca/

    Hope this helps, happy to try to answer any more questions.

  7. #7
    Hybrid Leftys aren't real Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthony.delorenzo
    Hope this helps, happy to try to answer any more questions.
    Sweet, thanks for all the info.

    So, this is outside of Skagway you say? I'll have to check itineraries, but that might be well worth the cash, and time. I appreciate the usefulness of a guide in situations like this, mostly from a "this is the best way to run this, look out for the clutch section around this bend" type of info. Good to have that local knowledge, otherwise, you can spend all day, doing stuff the wrong way, trying to figure out where you're headed....

    If you have contact info for them, email, whatever, that'd be sweet.

    Folding bikes, yeah, nice Actually, for around town they'd be a great way to go, but a royal PITA to fly all the ay there with!

    I guess the hike up Mt Roberts in Juneau is good stuff, with a touronesque tramride down, (free if you spend a few bucks in the cafe or so I've been led to believe). All this will be more about just getting out in the woods as we prefer to be, on an otherwise rather claustrophobic trip in a land that screams to be explored at length, I really appreciate all the input, so thank you one and all.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  8. #8
    @adelorenzo
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith
    So, this is outside of Skagway you say? I'll have to check itineraries, but that might be well worth the cash, and time. I appreciate the usefulness of a guide in situations like this, mostly from a "this is the best way to run this, look out for the clutch section around this bend" type of info. Good to have that local knowledge, otherwise, you can spend all day, doing stuff the wrong way, trying to figure out where you're headed....

    If you have contact info for them, email, whatever, that'd be sweet.
    Carcross is ~100 km from Skagway, across the Canadian border. The drive through the White Pass is pretty awesome.

    Check out http://borealebiking.ca/, their contact info is on there.

  9. #9
    Hybrid Leftys aren't real Moderator
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    Just got back.

    I wanted to thank Anthony for the input. Got hooked up with Boreale, had a great ride. Whitehorse is a pretty cool town too.

    White Pass was socked in, but the lakes along the top, and their moonscape surroundings were made all the cooler by it, but I can imagine it would be an epic view on a sunny day.

    Man, if I could find a way to move to Juneau, I'd do it in a heartbeat. We hiked Mt Juneau on a bluebird kinda day, and did the whole ridge run out, dropping down through Gold Creek wash on the way out. Funny thing, no one would help us find hiking trails, then we found the Foggy Mountain Shop, and got the requisite info.

    Probably more than 15 miles and around 10K in combined elevation, but just awesome. Tracys Crab Shack (2.5 lbs of legs, and a few Alaskan Pales) solved any pains we felt afterwards though

    You guys are really fortunate to live in such a stellar place on earth, cherish it.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  10. #10
    @adelorenzo
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    Awesome! Glad to hear that worked out. I do feel really lucky to live here. You should think about coming back for a riding trip, you've only scratched the surface.

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